Reviewed by: Claire
Would you fight for your home? Or would you fight for love? In the novel Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale, a fourteen year old mountain girl, Miri, thought that she was going to live the same way forever. But she was very promptly proven wrong when traders come to the mountain bringing news of Prince Steffan, every girl’s dream guy; that is, every girl expect Miri. Twenty girls are taken to a “elite” academy for princess training, including the rebellious Miri. The mountain girls learn to be proper, and they find themselves trusting each other more than they trust their snobby tutor, Ohana. The students are not only fighting for the Prince, but for Academy Princess, the award given to the highest academic scoring student. Although Miri is struggling to find a reason to want the Prince, she finds herself working her heart out trying to become the Academy Princess.
Princess Academy is ultimately the most heartfelt novel I have ever read. The heart and soul put into each character marvels me and I want to read it over and over again. I don’t have words to describe the emotions this book made me feel. I loved every second I spent reading this book, except the end. The way the girls interacted and felt the pain of one another, really intrigued me. Lately, I feel that a lot of the fictional characters in other novels have very unrealistic experiences and conversations; but this novel kept it real. My favorite part has to be when the girls receive a break and head back to their mountain village, I was inspired by the way Shannon Hale chose to have everyone rejoicing and praising the students. I also enjoyed the parts around the climax, but I think you should read the book yourself to find out what I mean. In all, I strongly believe that every girl should read this book!
I think I already mentioned that I totally recommend this book to every middle school girl, or maybe younger. The book doesn’t have any “red-alert” scenes that would make a parent decide not to let their little princess read this novel, other containing a few questionable words. The love and hope that the fictional characters in Princess Academy show toward each other made me feel the same way towards my friends, and I think every person should feel that way too. So if you are leaning towards reading it, please do!